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Monday, December 03, 2018 12:15pm

5 Minutes with Sara Macliver


We sit down with soprano Sara Macliver ahead of our final concert for 2018 - Messiah. Learn all about her thoughts on Handel, performing with orchestras, and her plans for the festive season.

ASO: Sara, you are one of Australia’s most popular and versatile sopranos, appearing in opera, concert and recital performances and on numerous recordings. What do you love about performing with symphonic orchestras?

Sara: It’s always a thrill and a great privilege to stand in front of an orchestra and sing. I love the collegiality and the shared experience of making music together. I also love the fact that with most of the orchestras in Australia I get the chance to reconnect with old friends and colleagues. 

Handel’s Messiah is the world’s single most performed piece of classical music, and is heard by more people in the world than any other. Describe what’s its like to perform this iconic work?

Despite having performed Messiah many times, I never grow tired of this music. It really is an awesome work and every conductor, soloist, choir and orchestra bring something new and individual to the work which always keeps it exciting. I also love the responses that I see from an audience. It’s like an old friend has come home or quite simply, for a lot of people, that Christmas is here. It’s a great piece to sing full of coloratura, beautiful languid melodies, hope, joy and sadness, all wrapped up in one oratorio!

What is your favourite part of the piece and why?

That’s so hard to answer because, in all honesty, I love all my solos. The Rejoice is incredibly exciting to sing, Come unto him and How beautiful are the feet have some of the most sublime melodies in the whole work, and I know that my redeemer liveth is “weighty”, it has gravitas and gives us a sense of hope. I’m always a little sad that If God be for us is often omitted as this is a truly beautiful aria. In short, I’m spoilt because they’re all stunning arias.  

What has been your favourite Christmas present as a recipient and as a giver?

My favourite gift to me were the pearl earrings and necklace from my husband, and my favourite to give was a beautiful watch for my husband; he absolutely loved it. Without sounding naff, I just love giving presents; that gives me so much joy. 

If you could buy Handel a Christmas present, what would it be?

A blank manuscript and a bottomless cup of coffee so he could write more incredible music for generations to come!

Where will you be spending Christmas this year? 

Down south (near Yallingup) with my family. 

See Sara perform on stage with the ASO and an incredible cast of singers at Messiah

13-15 December 2018
Elder Hall, Adelaide


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